2014 Winner

Disease Diagnostic Group

DDB Industry: Medical Diagnostic
Founder: John Lewandowski
Boston, MA


Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG) has produced a rapid, accurate and inexpensive handheld device that can diagnose Malaria within one minute with one drop of blood, similar to a diabetes test. Existing alternatives include blood drops that must be tested in a lab and have slower turnaround and pregnancy-test like strips that are unreliable due to unstable storage conditions. John is a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Finalists


Compology Industry: Waste Management Software
Founder: Jason Gates
San Francisco, CA


Compology places sensors on dumpsters to track dumpster volume and reroute waste pickup to skip empty dumpsters. Compology improves hauler’s margins by 50% by reducing fuel costs and vehicle maintenance from inefficient routing and increasing crew utilization. The team believes “smart trash” can significantly reduce costs in the $68B waste industry. Jason is a 2011 graduate of the University of Maryland.

Encore Alert

EncoreAlert Industry: Marketing/Social Media Analytics
Founder: James Li
Roslyn-Arlington, VA


Encore monitors social media for mid-market brands and identifies the most important influencers and trending conversations. Brands are struggling to react to the large volume of social media data and rarely take action. Encore Alert automatically sends simple alerts to notify a brand of a high priority conversation (influential post, trending topic, PR risk) and provides recommendations to take action (retweet, write blog post, or respond). James is a 2013 graduate of Georgetown University.


Kohana Industry: Breast Pumping Device
Founder: Susan Thompson
Canton, MA


Kohana is developing a quiet, compact and discrete breast pump. Current breast pumps use loud, vacuum technology that force women to pump in isolation, often making it impossible for working mothers to keep up with demands of pumping and work. Kohana’s wearable compression technology simulates hand-expression instead of high-powered suction, allowing women to pump anytime and anywhere. Susan is a 2013 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University.

Million Dollar Scholar

Million Dollar Scholar Industry: Education/Social Venture
Founder: Derrius Quarles
Louisville, KY


Million Dollar Scholar (MDS) is a web-based platform that provides curriculum and consulting/coaching services to students, parents and guidance counselors to help identify and win college scholarships. College students graduate with an average of more than $25K in debt. There is also a shortage of high school counselors, with the average counselor serving 450 students. MDS provides tools beyond other scholarship matching sites, such as essay editing, resume creation and interview assistance. Derrius is a 2013 graduate of Morehouse College.

Wheel Shields

Wheel Shields Industry: Sports Equipment
Founder: Chase Kaczmarek
College Park, MD


Wheel Shields skateboarding accessories improve safety, block mud and enable skaters to perform more advanced tricks. These metal “hubcaps” create a physical barrier between the wheel and the board, preventing the accidental braking that often throws skaters from their boards. Chase is a current undergraduate student at the University of Maryland.

2013 Winner & Finalists

Cupids Cup